PENSIONER Hicks Alexander stared death in the face during a home invasion yesterday morning, when a would-be car thief put a gun to his head and shot him, after first brutally beating him and binding his hands.
But a slight movement, as he looked up to the heavens in a silent prayer to make his peace with his maker, saved the taxi driver from certain death. As he moved his head, the bullet entered his jaw and exited through his nose. The bandit ran off.
With blood pouring down his face and in excruciating pain and trauma, Alexander managed to remain conscious, freed himself with a cutlass and got into his taxi. He reversed up a 300-foot, steep hill and drove himself to the local health facility, some 15 minutes away, in peak traffic, before he collapsed.
His son, Maurice Alexander, a councillor on the Siparia Regional Corporation, joked that his dad, a taxi driver for the past 40 years, parked his Toyota Altis perfectly in the health centre’s car park before seeking help inside. He said his father, in halting speech, told doctors what happened and they called the police. He was stabilised and taken by ambulance to the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), where he is being treated.
Newsday spoke to the councillor outside the SFGH, while his father was undergoing a CT scan to determine the extent of his injuries. “On behalf of the Alexander family, we are extremely happy and thankful to God that he is alive. He is stabilized.
However, he is not out of the woods yet. Doctors are trying to stop the internal bleeding. Tests are still being done.”
The younger Alexander said his father, a well-known taxi driver who lived alone, awoke early as he normally did, said his prayers, put his bird outside, and dressed for work. He said his dad was in his living room of his Small Trace home, with his door open — still a norm in that area — when a slim-built, armed man with a bandana masking his face, demanded the keys to Alexander’s grey car.
“The intruder came into the home, secured him with tie straps which he walked with and beat my father badly, because there are a lot of bruises about his body. He told the doctor the gun was placed to his temple, that the intruder was going to kill him, but when he raised and turned his head, the bullet miraculously missed the target. The shot grazed the temple area and came through his nose, so the facial structure has been disfigured. We await the doctor’s advice about what reconstructive surgery there may be.”
Speaking about the miraculous feat, Maurice said, “It could be a miracle, it could be an act of God that he got the strength, even though he was shot, to drive himself to the district health centre to get assistance from doctors. It was not his time. He has a large family support, eight sons and one daughter, and we are standing with him and standing against those who intend to minus our family without the permission of God.”
Commenting on the spate of crime, Alexander said it is sad that crime continues to pervade the country. This he said needs to be addressed. “You only realise how serious it is when it reaches home and knocks on your door. As much as I am happy that he is alive, I am also saddened that at the end of the day our community had to face this horror.
“This is a blow for our community, but we intend to react in a very positive way. We believe that bandits are in the minority and law-abiding citizens are in the majority and we would be standing up and making this statement that we would have no crime in our community.” PC Gaffar of the Siparia Police station is investigating.